tv CNN Newsroom CNN April 30, 2010 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT
travel, your entire world. let's get started. here's what i've got on the run down. started with an explosion on an oil rig, now it has turned into a potential catastrophe. more of the gulf coast is on alert because that growing oil spill approaches fast. we're going to look at the ecological, economic and political impact of this oil spill as it reaches shore. plus, a mega merger reportedly in the works that could change the face of the airline industry and change the way you fly. it break it down and talk to the experts about what this could mean for you. and, i am going to introduce you to a fascinating woman who is going to make your heart race. she is a runner but so much more, she over came some major hurdles and now she's helping other people leap over theirs. when a united states senator uses panic in public we all pay attention and millions of us are to this, light sweet crude oil spilling in the gulf of mexico spreading like a tumor toward the fragile we'd latlands.
the worst of the slick has yet to reach land. but southeast winds mean it surely be despite the best efforts of the coast guard, bp and the state of louisiana. senator i'm speaking of is bill nelson, democrat of florida. he's long been a critic of offshore oil drilling. here's what he said this morning. >> panicked because we got a lot riding on this right here. this is our economy. we've got a lot riding on the bays and estuaries that spawn our marine life. we have a lot riding on the united states military have been an unfettered testing and training range. >> okay. bill nelson spoke in pensacola, a navy town now a staging area for shoreline protection. he is demand that president obama stand down on his plans to eventually open up more of the gulf and other coastal waters in the united states to oil
exploration. here's what the president says. >> i've ordered secretary salazar to conduct a thorough review of this incident and report back to me in 30 days on what, if any, additional precautions and technologies should be required to prevent accidents like this from happening again. we're going to make sure that any leases going forward have those safeguards. we've also dispatched teams to the gulf to inspect all deep water rigs and platforms to address safety concerns. >> okay. we've got extensive live coverage, but before we head to louisiana i want to share some numbers with you. more than 217,000 feet of boom is now floating between the slick and the shore. basically you can see it there. it's the line that tries to separate the oil from moving along. even more boom still waiting to be set out. strong winds and high waves can push oil over those barriers, those booms. at last word, crews had recovered more than 20,000 barrels of an oil and water mix. that effort continues.
75 boats are on the job, including skimmers, tugs, bargers and recovery vessels. bp, the company leasing the oil rig, is asking for more and offering compensation to people who help out. in the northern gulf coast is holding its breast. we're going to be there live in just a moment but first let's check in with our chad myers watching the spill since the deep water horizon rig blew up ten days ago. chad, what's the weather, is that going to help or hurt the chances of this thing getting ashore quickly? >> it's going to help the people of southern louisiana and it will hurt the people of, let's say, bay st. louis over to dolphin island. that's the way the wind is blowing. from the due south to the coastal region. bay st. louis, biloxi and mobile and destin. oil is still a long way offshore from there. still talking about 100 miles or so. if the wind blows in 20 miles per hour as we expected, you
can't say that oil is going to move that fast. oil limps along at two or three knots. a good couple days before it gets there. but, you know, so what. we do believe that it will get there. there's not some turn around eventually going to happen in the gulf of mexico, that will eventually bring these, that very thick slick. you can see the middle how it's milky white. it's an interpretation of how the sheen happened and reflectivity happened on the satellite picture from nasa. it's almost a reddish braun sludge. we do have sheen now in the mississippi delta. not places where people really live. that whole bottom that you see there where under the word, the top word "sheen," under that is the delta. that's the estuary, all the birds, plankton, mammals, river otters, they all live there and they are all in trouble as this water is mixed with oil is moving their way still for today. >> we have heard from fish and wildlife they have started to -- got one bird who had to start
cleaning up. we're going to talk about that on this show later on, chad. you and i have got so much experience with birds and maybe you'll join me for that. >> at least penguins. >> right. we're going to see a hawk but we're going to talk about what happens when these birds that go into the water to get their food end up getting oil on them, how they have to clean them. if all this sounds serious and you think the military needs to be 1r06involved, you're righ. chris lawrence joins me now with that angle. the air force is supplying some airplanes that are heading into this flight. chris, good to see you. tell us about this. >> yeah, ali, the secretary of defense has authorized two c-130s in that area to help with the clean-up effort. these are equip we'd a certain modular aerial spray system. think of the missions that the military has done over the wildfires when they drop the foam on the fire. sort of like that but a little bit different. these have side nozzles that spray in a more focused pattern. again, what that will do is drop
that chemical on there to try and disperse some of the oil on the surface of the water. these planes can of about 2 oo 50 acres per flight and they will run three each day. the secretary has a request on his desk from the louisiana governor bobby jindal to pay for 6,000 troops to be mobilized if they need them if this oil starts to reach the shore. we're told he is considering that request right now. >> there's no decision on that just yet, no decision on the state of louisiana has issued a state of emergency. but does the federal government has to issue one or is this just a request from the governor for the national guard? >> no, governor jindal is the governor. he controls the national guard there. he can authorize the national guard any time he wants. could he have done it today, he could have done it yesterday. this is about who is going to pay for it. it's the money question, ali. is it going to be the state of louisiana picking up the bill or
they put in a request to the federal government to see if the feds will pay for it. >> all right. who is going to pay for this remains a big question. thank you. democratic senators have put together a plan to overhaul immigration laws. boy, we've been talking a lot about immigration thanks to that bill in arizona. this law would give a lot of illegal immigrants the chance to get legalized. but a few things need to happen first. i'm going to break that down for i'm going to break that down for you.
okay. if you're like me, the developments in this immigration law that was passed in arizona are faster than you need to understand. i want to slow this down for a second and discuss what's happening. part of the problem here is that arizonians have said they would like a federal policy. and if there were a federal policy in place they wouldn't have to do this in the state. so let me tell you a bit about what's happening on a federal level. yesterday harry reid, democrat, and some other democratic leaders unveiled an outline, a
draft of immigration legislation that they're saying they want to take forward. let me tell you what's in this. first of all, a lot of politics behind it. republican leaders are dismiss this plan calling it a political ploy with little chance of passage. what is in this draft? it's 26 pages long. we've gone through it. it's got concrete benchmarks to secure the border, and then once that is done, grant immigration -- immigrants opportunities to gain legal status in this country. let me tell you about what's in it. it's going to increase the number of border patrol officers and u.s. immigration and customs enforcement officials. this is the enforcement part of things along the mexican border, the red line about the middle of your screen. it is going to increase the number of personnel available to inspect for drugs and contraband. it's also going to improve the technology used to assist immigration customs enforcement agents. let's talk about that technology. high-tech ground sensors are going to be installed across the
mexican border. obviously on the -- toward the u.s. side of the border. that's a little further south. we're not going to be installing things inside of mexico. officers are going to be equipped with, according to the draft, technological capability to respond to activation of ground sensors in areas that they are patrolling. now i want to talk about another change. that's the enforcement part. here's another thing. apparently the use of fraudulent and forged social security cards are an issue. this draft proposes a fraud resistant, tamper resistant social security card which would be biometric. that's important. every worker in america would carry one of these cards. this would happen over the course of the next six years and this one is a sticking point. why? because biometrics are things that have to do specifically with you. for instance, a fingerprint, the information would be stored within a microprocessing chip on the card so you may not be able to see the fingerprint when you look at the card, there will be
a chip and you could scan it. this is coming under fire from places like the american civil liberties union because aside from the expense, it would require every american worker to be finger printed. some of you out there may not have had your fingerprint taken and may not be on record somewhere and some people certainly do not like the idea. do you like the idea of strong border protection and enforcement of immigration rules more than you like the idea that you're going to be fingerprinted? the reason behind these cards is it would -- the government says, the democrats say prevent the hi hiring of illegal immigrants. look at fines for hiring any illegal immigrant. they will be increased by 300%. if you hire somebody who is not eligible for employment and repeat anders, people who hire people who are not eligible for employment, could face time in prison. that's a big deal. what are we talking about here? josh levs was telling us about the numbers of illegal immigrants in this country. best estimate is about 10.8
million illegal immigrants. it's kind of like the number of people not covered by health care. lots of people, depending on what side of the issue their are, will give you different numbers. living immigrants in the united states would be required to come forward and register, be screened than if they're eligible, complete other requirements to earn legal status. by the way that includes paying taxes. and once all of that is done, once they have been cleared by federal authorities, once the biometrics have been done and they got all of this information, then they would be able to petition for permanent resident status eight years after the current visa backlogs have been cleared. that is what we know about the proposed legislation. we will, of course, continue to cover this in great detail for you. the government is reportedly taking its investigation of goldman sachs a step further. the economy is growing in light of this going on. it's we growing very slowly, however. christine romans breaks it down.
we promised you continuing coverage of this oil slick heading toward land in the gulf of mexico. let's go to richard louie who is at -- i believe dolphin island, alabama. richard, what's the situation out there? >> reporter: hey, ali. we're here in a situation in dauphin island, 900 people. this is certainly a place that is used to adversity. you were reporting down here in some of the major hurricanes, have gone through katrina, eye van, gustav, you name it.
this time around, although they're very hearty folks with a lot of resilience, it's a little bit difference this time around because they believe it's possible that things could change for a long period of time. i spoke with bob, long-time fisherman, been here for 30, 40 years. he takes people out for tours. he fishes himself in is what he told me earlier when i asked him what he thought might happen in the next couple of weeks. >> i never took any fish that i ever caught for granted, or i tried not to. but these last couple of days, you know, just -- just have to enjoy every one of them now. >> reporter: and then what bob did is he got on his boat and he went out for what he thought was going to be his last fishing trip right around the cove to my right here.
i asked him what is he going to be thinking at as he went through that alley. he said, you know, i'm scared. i don't know what my future is going to be. dynamic. very resilient people but having to face the potentiality they're not sure of. >> that's part of the story we don't want to lose. there are people who make their livings off of this. and whether or not they can get out there, some of the fish that they're out there to catch, the shrimp, oysters, we don't know what the impact is going to be on them just yet. resilient and they get blown around a lot by the environment and by weather, and here they are have to face this as well. thank you very much. we'll check in with you again. richard lui. one of the other stories, a few things going on on the money front. christine romans is joining me now. where do you want to go, christine? well, hold on. now i don't see her at all. there, now we see me but i hear christine. are you there? there you go. >> i'm here. i really am. >> take your pick. new numbers on gdp.
we've got potentially -- let's start there. >> let's start with gdp. >> why do we care about gdp? this is how you measure the output of the american economy. we now know for three quarters in a row the american economy has been growing. growing. a year ago, we weren't so sure. now you've got three quarters in a row growth. that growth, however, for the first three months of this year, ali, is weaker than it was at the last three months of last year. 3.2%. see those three green bars? that shows you an economy that is crawling out of an abysmal for putters. 3.2%. some people say it's not as strong as it was at the end of the year. that's true, but economists, ali, are telling me this morning and the afternoon that it's more balanced growth. that's what they would like to see, more balanced growth. put in three quarters in a row together, growth. >> goldman sachs. let's clear this up.
goldman sachs has a charge from the securities and exchange commission. we've been reporting on that. that is a civil charge. nobody goes to jail. it's a fine, if they were to be found guilty of that. something has developed on that front. >> something has developed on that front and that is this. numerous reports the s.e.c. has referred this case now to the justice department. so for a criminal investigation, which takes it up a notch, right? a criminal investigation, it's a probe, it's early, it is not charges. it's not guaranteed that it will be charges. but just to let you know this is what has developed. goldman says given the recent focus on the firm, they're frankly not surprised by the report of an inquiry. and they are going to fully cooperate with any requests for information. as you know, we've been covering it extensively. the s.e.c. fraud charge against goldman sachs, it has to do with a billionaire investor, hedge fund investor named john
paulson, not henry, john paulson. >> no relationship between them two. >> i know. and he -- and he is accused of -- or goldman is accused of letting him handpick mortgage-backed securities for an investment that was sold to other people and not privy to them. >> not only not a relationship but henry paulson who was secretary was the boss at goldman and they have nothing to do with each other. >> and i've said henry and paulson together so many times in the past two years. >> christine, great to see you. i'll see you tomorrow. christine and i are together on television seven days a week. we never stop. you can watch us on "your $$$$$" saturday at 1:00 p.m. eastern, sunday at 3:00 p.m. eastern. we're going to get into much more of this stuff that you might be interested in in terms of money. we have another one of our colleagues standing by. we've got breaking news out of new york. having to do with terrorism or people allegedly accused of it. allan, what is this story?
>> right. ali, we now have word from the u.s. attorney here in manhattan that two u.s. citizens are being charged with providing material support to al qaeda, age 33 and age 34. this is material support that they are alleged to have provided including computer assistance. one of them allegedly traveled to yemen, pledged his support to al qaeda, and then went to work here in the united states, apparently trying to set up material assistance, computer programs. they also mentioned that he acquired seven casio digital watches to apparently give some assistance to al qaeda. in any event, the two are to be presented for a federal magistrate judge in virginia in an hour and a half. ali, that's what we have on this story right now. but again, two u.s. citizens
being charged with providing assistance to al qaeda. >> all right. you'll stay on that story. we'll check back in with you to find out as that develops. allan chernoff in new york. here's something you want to pay attention to. four things that can make you 12 years older. not in a bad way. you could live 12 years longer if you just do these four things that we're going to tell you about when we come back.
okay. breaking news. we're continuing to follow this oil slick that heads toward the coast of louisiana. we are now hearing the associated press report that the louisiana national guard has been mobilized now. we did have a discussion a few moments ago with chris lawrence about who is going to pay to have that out. louisiana governor bobby jindal in declaring a state of emergency yesterday has asked the federal government, department of defense, to pay for the deployment of 6,000 national guard troops in louisiana. at this point i don't think that decision has been made, according to chris lawrence. but the decision to deploy the national guard in louisiana to fight the oil spill and protect,
in their words, the fragile eco system has been made. according to the associated press, the louisiana national guard has been deployed. we will bring you that information in more detail as soon as we have it. it seems everybody has a tip about how to live a longer life and how to make yourself younger and how to make yourself more fit. believe this, there are some thanks you can do or don't do that will prevent you from enjoying a few more years on this earth. elizabeth cohen is here to tell us about the combined effect of four particular habits. i don't know if this is going to be true but this always happens when you talk about this stuff. i seem to be involved in some of those habits. >> that ebbs plains the lack of hair. >> i'm 26 years old and that's why i look like i'm 50. tell me what i have to not do. >> go over the four things you shouldn't do because you're mother or me or sanjay gupta or someone tells you not to do them but because they actually did a study where they looked at how this really has -- takes a huge toll on your life.
smoking, excessive alcohol use, not eating enough fruits and vegetables and not getting enough exercise. you can think of those as the four deadly hab lly habits, if that up over your lifetime, you're pretty sure to have a shorter lifetime than you would have if you hadn't done those things. >> it makes you older, it ages your body, ages you. >> it does age your body, exactly. what these researchers figured out using all these statistical models. if you do all four of these things you're aging your body. if you're only 40 and you do those four thanks your body will feel like 52. >> it doesn't only shorten your lifespan but you will feel older. you will look 100 but feel like you're 112. >> you would probably shorten your lifespan. thoets tho those folks tnd to get cancer and heart disease. it wasn't looking at how much shorter you would live but they
could tell people's bodies were 12 years older than they really should have been. >> i'm guilty of the two last ones of those and you and i know. i don't exercise enough and don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. can you reverse the effects? >> you can. it's never too late to start. it's never too late to quit smoking. you will see beneficial effects no matter whi eter when you do >> i started exercises, although i was motivated mostly because i wear these vests which is like wearing a girdle. if you get too big -- >> it contains you. when you take the vest off you explode everywhere. >> i'm trying to get more fit. i'm going to try and do that. bring my body's age in line with my real age. always such great advice. all right. we are continuing to follow this oil spill. chad myers is tracking it in our severe weather center because this is very dependent upon the weather and the wind speed of the waves and the wind itself to see how damaging this oil slick
is going to be as approaches the wetlands and the gulf coast. >> i just looked at one of the offsho offshore bouys. the waves are 4.9 feet. the waves can actually take the oil and splash it right on top and over those booms and breach the booms all together. we need the weather to calm down. we need the weather to stop blowing out of the southeast because that's what's blowing it right into louisiana right now. let me show you this map because this is where the source is. the source means that's where the leaking oil is coming out of. yesterday and today it has been approaching that southeastern coast of louisiana. by tomorrow, the winds come more out of the south and not southeast. so it blows a little bit farther north on up into st. bernard parish and up towards bay st. louis. then the wind shifts out of the due south and for pensacola and up into mobile bay and daul fph
and pensacola, maybe destin and all of those beautiful, pristine, white, sandy white sugar beaches there. this is how big the oil slick is now. only little bit literally very small bits of this is making its way into the mississippi delta region right now. only as a light sheen. >> all those the issue to marine life and to mammals isn't that it actually has to get to shore because a lot of these mammals are feeding in area where's there's thats already there. >> absolutely right. and the word shore in southern louisiana is a gray term because there really isn't any place -- even where you see it green there under the word "sheen" you can't walk there. there's no land there. there's marsh there. you would sink in about six feet as you were trying to walk through this stuff. but that is -- that's the breeding ground, that's the nursery for all of this marine habitat that we get to see fly over us but we never see writsz
born. that right you there is where all of this population of shrimp and all of these otters and river otters and all of the way down to plankton and down the food chain, that's where we are right now. >> chad, breaking news in. hold on for a second with me. as we told you a moment ago, louisiana international guard, i'm getting more information on this. according to the associated press, the louisiana national guard is deploying. they are preparing to send communication equipment, boats, all terrain vehicles and other equipment to fight the effects of this oil spill. it is -- they're sending resources to orleans, st. bernard, jefferson parishes. they're going to work with local officials. they're going to send in dump trucks and security vehicles to help deal with the oil spill. the dump trucks will be to pick up sand and material on the shore. one of the things we were talking about, the booms that are out there. what you're talking about waves, which means the oil can get over
the boom. >> correct. and the skimming operation doesn't go as well with four-foot seas because the swimming operation only wants to take the top four or five millimeters of water, which is on top of this oil, and they want to skim that off. if the boat is bouncing, the skimming boat is bouncing, then it's grabbing more water underneath. the oil to water mixture is different than a nice flat sea and the skimming boat could take the first couple of millimeters right off the water and do a better job. the temperature and this wind, they can't light it on fire. i know lighting it on fire sounds like a big pollution maker but it's less of a pollution problem in the air than it is these animals, birds and fish on the ground and in the water. >> later on we'll show you what happens to these birds, how they're cleaned off and the affect that it has on them. chad will be with us the whole time. another story, not developed yet but quite possibly going to be developing. two major u.s. airlines are reportedly about to become one. if you fly, especially overseas, you're going to want to pay attention to, this but it will
airline. it could change a lot more than the logo on your boarding pass. both companies already have several hubs around the country. united has hubs in san francisco, los angeles, denver, chicago, and washington dulles. continental has houston, cleveland and newark, new jersey. it's also got subsidiary called continental micronesia in guam. if it goes through the new company would control 53% of air traffic across the pacific and 40% of air traffic across the atlantic. rick is a fren of our shores, ceo and coun fare compare. rick, good to see you. first of all, a lot of betting on whether or not this is going to happen. they've done this dance before. do you think we've got a merger coming. >> gosh, i feel 99% sure. i was just at a meeting with the us airways and they were feeling pretty down about getting aced out. i think they pretty much feel like this deal is going to go down. probably in the next few days. >> okay. a lot of people have said in the past, with respect to airline mergers, that these two sort of make sense.
why is that? >> well thanks don't have much overlap in domestic u.s. so really the only small overlap they have is in their hubbs. it's not going effect the domestic route system. it's going to give them a juggernaut as far as international is concerned. with continental with a really big presence in latin america, south america and europe and unite with more exposure over to asia. it's going to put them on par and actually above, in this case, delta as far as the number of international cities served. delta will still continue to serve more countries. >> who gains from this? i understand why the airline industry has to do this sort of consolidation to make itself profitable and self sustaining. but in terms, what does it mean to my viewers? >> everybody is worried about ticket prices. will ticket prices go up? they can only go up -- we were off decade lows last time this same time last year. prices are going to go up but i don't expect to see any huge difference there.
you know, people that are loyal customers of eunited and continental, they will merge the award programs. there will be a lot of frustration about that and what's going on. although continental did just recently move into the star alliance. >> what are they going to call it? >> i think they're set on calling it united and basing it in chicago. >> interesting. for all of you out there rick does this for a living. farecompare.com tracks fare prices. he's made the point many times in the last year we have come off these historic lows on airline airfare prices. rick, good to see you. >> you, too. >> rick seaney is joining me from dallas. all right. amy winters was a marathon runner who lost a portion of her leg in a motorcycle accident. that would have made most people give up. not amy. she is recently qualified, get this, as a member of the u.s. track and field team as an amputee.
amy winters, she is the first amputee to qualify for the u.s. national track and field team. she finished first overall to the run to the future 24-hour race in glendale, arizona, covering 130.4 miles in a day's time. i'm not sure i could do that in three or four weeks. let's put that in perspective. that is the distance most
swimmers swim when crossing the english channel. no. if you do that, it's 21 miles, multiply that by six. that's what she ran in a day. she joins me from new york. amy, good to see you. thank you for being with me. >> thanks for having me. >> amy, you and i have nothing in common. i wasn't athletic as a kid. if anything bad happened to me i would have used that as an excuse. you have been running since you were 8 years old and then you got into this accident at 21. your lost a leg. pick up the story from there. >> i did. and just like you, you said you have -- we have nothing in common, but we all have goals and that's pretty much what it is. we all have something that we love to do. and that's where my running came into play. i started running when i was 8 years old and when i had my accident when i was 21 and lost my leg, running was something that got me through and running was something that just kept me going. we all have two choices in life. you can give up or move on. running helped me really move on in life. >> let's speak about
practicalities. you were missing a leg. what did you have to do? you had a prosthetic. is it easy for people with prosthetics to go from walking to running? >> it isn't. it's not -- it's not easy. but if you have the determination and actually i'm very fortunate. i do have a great company behind me, a step ahead prosthetics out in long island. when you have a good fitting sock get it makes a world of difference. it was a tough transition. >> you got some of the prosthetics. you can tell us about this. hold on for a second because you've got them there. we're going to take a quick break. you're going to show me how they allow you to run and what has driven you to the point that you're at.
conversation with amy palmiero-winters. she qualified for the u.s. track and field team. on our show we're going to be exposing you to a lot more people like amy, people who fight the odds because we're in an environment now, in a world now where it does feel like a lot of us are fighting some kind of odds but we've got -- what did you say to me a few minutes ago, two choices in life? >> yeah, you can either give up or move on. >> so what you have done is not just an inspiration to people who may have lost a limb but lost their jobs or home. you've got to make that choice. you were going to tell me about
your prosthetic devices. you have different ones for different things? >> i do. as you can see beside me, i obviously have one. this one right here is for wearing high heels. the next one that i have is for, you know, wearing flip-flops, anything. it has an adjustable ankle in it. the one next to it is primarily the one that i used all the time. i am a mother, single mother. i have two kids that i take care of. and i'm usually chasing them on a bicycle, behind them, i'm usually using this one. my last one is my running leg. that's what i lo l. use when i travel to france on the u.s. team and compete in the 24-hour world championships. >> what is the difference between the last two. i'm getting the sense the last two are more practical. >> they are. >> what makes the running one a running one? >> the running one is a running one because of the carbon fiber foot below it. when i run as an amputee, i don't have the lower part of my
leg to accommodate all the pounding that i have. so the lower part of this running leg here actually acts somewhat as a shock absorber. that way, all the residual, all the pounding doesn't go straight up through he residual limb and it could cause damage to the end of my bone where my leg is amputated. >> finish your thought. sorry about that. >> and the next one is more so of a high activity leg. and that's what i use predominantly every day. >> and do you -- you end up talking to people about this. you give talks to adults and kids. are these people who have lost limb or what are these conversations that you have? >> the conversations that i have could be anybody facing any kind of obstacle in life. it's, you know, we all face something, whether it's the loss of a limb or it's, like you said, the loss of a job. everybody faces something. when you can see somebody else out there overcoming these obstacles to do better things and to make a difference in the
world, then it makes it, i think, easier for everybody else. i speak to children, adults, i go to hospitals. and it's all about giving back and making a difference because as an athlete, i do have a gift. and my gift is running. that's where i can help others see that maybe it's not so bad after all. >> what a fantastic and inspirational story. we appreciate that you're giving back and letting people know it doesn't have to be as serious as the loss you suffered to be able to make that choice to do something else. thanks so much for being with us. we wish you continued success. >> thanks for having me. >>iepalmiero-winters. goldman sachs often taking the brunt of the blame for the melt down. when it comes to investments there are a whole lot of chefs in the kitchen. allan chernoff is going to show us a recipe.
you know, earlier this week i was in washington for that grilling that goldman sachs' executives got from senators, and you would think from the discussion there that if there is someone to blame, it's the investment bankers in general and goldman sachs in particular, but the reality is whether or not goldman sachs and investment banks had anything to do with making this recession worse than it was, there is a lot of blame to go around. allan chernoff is looking in to something so many of you have asked about, the credit rating agencies and what their role was in the recession. look at this. >> ali, the pain stretches from home buyers all the way to
pensioneners who are depending on their monthly checks. it's the result of the way that wall street sold mortgage investment. to do that the wall street firm relied on endorsement from the credit rating agency, moody's, s&p 500 and fitch, our story begins with the home buyer in bronx, new york. >> reporter: gisele james got a mortgage she couldn't afford. did you think you could afford this house? >> no. no. >> reporter: but when james fell behind on her payments, the lender didn't have to worry. that lender, reliance mortgage, had already sold the mortgage to investment bank morton stanley. professor lawrence white teaches economics at new york university's stern school of business. >> here's these 100 mortgages. they've been packaged up into what we're now going to call a security. >> reporter: securities consisting of anticipated mortgage payments, that morgan stanley, goldman sachs, and
other wall street firms then sold to investors. that's where the credit rating agencies come in. there are three players. standard and poors and moody's and fitch. it's their job to rate the credit rating, it's the likelihood that james and other home buyers can make their monthly payments which are supposed to flow to the investors. the rating agencies said homeowners like james were likely to pay their mortgages, very likely, so they gave the mortgage securities their top marks, an effort, critics say, to generate more lucrative deals from wall street. >> the rating agencies if you want betrayed the people by relaxing their standards, by having models that did not recognize the objective risk conditions in the field. >> reporter: gisele james was a poor credit risk. she fell in to foreclosure, just like millions of other home buyers who also could not afford their mortgages.
>> it turned out that, no, this wasn't so safe. the rating firms had been way overoptimistic. >> reporter: some analysts at the rating agencies knew it. let's hope we're all wealthy and retired by the time this house of cards fallters, e-mail one analyst. based on aaa ratings ohio's pension funds bought 263 of the mortgage securities. when the housing bubble popped, the investment plummeted. s&p and moody's and fitch cut their ratings from supersafe to junk, but it was too late. ohio's pension plan lost $456 million. >> our investors and retirees were certainly victims of what the rating agencies did here. it's very upsetting for our investors and retirees. many know the systems have been hurt, they worry about getting their checks every day. >> reporter: ohio is not alone. connecticut and california also lost millions and they along with ohio are suing the rating
agencies. the agencies say they intend to defend themselves. but they're getting heat in congress and the financial reform bill now before the senate would create a new office at the securities and exchange commission to oversee and require more transparency of the credit rating agencies, ali? >> thanks, allan, i hope that helps some of you. please continue to send me messages on facebook or twitter about things that you don't understand that you want to have us clear up and we'll make sure we get on it. we're also keeping a very close eye on the oil spill in the gulf of mexico, one of the things we're keeping an eye on is the effects on bird and wildlife. we've got a bird in the house, that's not him, that's chad myers, he's monitoring the wind and the waves and we'll get an update. refinery in the south. i'll never forget. it used one tank of petrol and i had to refill it twice with oil. a new car today has 95% lower emissions than in 1970.
good choice. only meineke lets you choose the brake service that's right for you. and save 50% on pads and shoes. meineke. here's what i've got on the rundown. the huge oil spill heading for the gulf coast is not only growing in size but scope. the potential for an ecological disaster very real at this point along with economic and political fallout. a live briefing happening this hour. we'll bring it to you. it's no secret americans have a voracious appetite for oil and most of you contribute to that. you've been giving knee a ton of feedback about this, so i want to have a crude conversation with you in my "xyz." the smell of oil is on the horizon and the spill islated to make land fall any moment now and there are major concerns. people are feeling the effects. let's talk about the risk of oil
exposure to humans. your skin can be burned by exposure to crude oil. let's say the oil has seeped into the sand and soil and it gets on to you, children can be exposed, you might not realized they're exposed so, be careful with bare feet in an area where oil has touched it. it can get on the fur of pets and transferred to people. right now you can smell it in the air in the gulf coast, and crude oil for those of you who don't know it, although if you live along the gulf coast, the smell is very strong. it has health officials in louisiana worried. a warning is out for residents to be advised of air quality changes and health officials have announced that people who are sensitive to changes in air quality, think about you people who are sensitive to headaches or allergies, you could suffer nausea, vomiting or headaches and they do have recommendations if you have some of these symptoms. first of all, stay indoors, ventilate your home with air-conditioning, avoid strenuous outdoor activities, think of this is as a high pollution day. the major concern from the oil
slick is wild life and environment right now. we're talking about birds drowning from oil-covered feathers, animals dehydrating and suffering from inflammation from infection and poisoning from ingesting the oil. other animals higher up the food chain may be in danger when they eat the animals covered in oil. i have sam rivera from zoo atlanta and we've got a special guest, tahoe, which is a harris hawk and matt who is handling tahoe. we've got tahoe to sort of help demonstrate what happens to the birds. tahoe has no oil on him -- it's a him? >> him. >> sam, you're a veterinarian? >> yes, i am. >> and you're very conscious of what happens. we don't think about this, but we've already had reports of birds found with oil on them, they don't wait for the oil to wash onshore, they go into the water to find food. >> absolutely. this also will have a devastating effect. it gets on seabirds and what happens, as you know, these
birds depend not only on their integrity of their plumage, of their feathers, to be able to survive. when the oil covers their feathers, they are going to lose the ability to regulate their temperature. they're going to get very cold. many of them will die of hypotherm hypothermia. >> tell me about that, why does the oil affect their ability to regulate the temperature? >> as you can see, the reason we brought tahoe, even though he's not in the wild and not likely to be affected, i wanted to show you some points about his feathers. if you look at his plumage, they are very delicate. one of the main function of their feathers is to insulate their body and to keep them warm for them to be able to regulate their temperature. once the feathers get covered with oil, he's not going to be able to keep the warm air without those feathers. seabirds that swim, when those feathers are covered, they're not going to be able to swim, lawyer going to sinking, and many will drown.
in addition to all the external effects there are also internal effects that. when they try to clean themselves. >> yeah. >> they're going to ingest a lot of that oil. >> and that's toxic for them? >> absolutely. >> it's going to kill them. >> it's going to cause a lot of damage to their internal organs, another factor of the fumes like you're saying, you can already smell it in the air. birds are very sensitive, especially the respiratory system, when they breathe the fumes, it's going to cause a lot of damage to their lungs, to their pulmonary system. >> there's several i was a bird can suffer from oil, not just the oil on them, although that's what we were thinking of. the fish and wildlife service has people ready and it's difficult, they've got to capture the birds first which might be easier if they're waterlogged or oil on them. but then they have to try to clean them. >> exactly. and one of the things that's very critical as you say there are already people mobilizing to help the birds, but by the time they get to them, these birds are going to be very stressed
already. some of them may have gone without eating for an extended period of time, so the main goal of the wildlife biologists and the veterinarians working with these birds is to get them stable, to make sure that they're well hydrated, make sure that they at least have some sort of energy. >> yeah. >> many people make mistakes when they try to help the birds, you try to clean it because of the stress they are not used to be handled and they are already compromised and they can die from the stress of handling. >> so, they've got to clean them and get food and hydration and deal with the respiratory system. it's a lot of work. >> absolutely. they have to get them stable first. >> yeah. >> sometimes it may be a day or two before they can clean them, because they have to make sure that the bird is going to be able to tolerate all this handling. because as you know and as i was saying how delicate the feathers are, cleaning the oil off the structures is not an easy task. >> it's a detergent you do by hand. >> soap. absolutely it has to be done by
hand. the birds already very stremsed, that's why they have to be able to tolerate the handling and that's why they need to get them stable first before they clean them. >> and all of this doesn't address the fact that whatever they're feeding on might have oil on it or have ingested it. >> absolutely. this is something that will have long-term effect. it's years. as you say earlier, there are smaller animals that are going to be taking up a lot of this oil, many of which are the food of the animals on the higher food chain. so it's going to be deleterious for years to come. >> thanks, dr. rivera, for coming on with tahoe, thanks, matt, for bringing tahoe. it's important for people to know what the consequences are. you can see how you can hem to minimize the effects of this spill and the effect it's going to have on the environment. we've got a lot of information on cnn.com/impact. on "impact your world" you can go in there, by the way, if you do find waterlogged birds, please report that to the authorities as dr. rivera says, don't try to solve the problem
yourself, you could make it worse by stressing the birds out and they could die. on "impact your world" you will find a list of local organizations helping in the cleanup. that's drawcnn.com/impact. there's a major impact when the oil slick hits. there's a lot of things, fishing, and tourism industry, that will be hit hard. we'll take you live to the coast. ater. but now zyrtec®, the fastest 24-hour allergy relief, comes in a new liquid gel. new zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®.
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because of the oil slick. parts of florida were added to that list today as well. this could be, could become, the biggest oil disaster in u.s. history. take a look at this map of the projected expansion of the oil slick for this weekend. we're talking about nearly all the states along the gulf coast being affected in some way. let me say that again, all the states along the gulf coast being affected by this oil slick in a major way. richard lui is live from dauphin island in alabama right now. and, again, richard, we're concentrating on the environment and the effect on birds and mammals. there's another effect out there and that is these are fishing communities in many cases and the commercial fishermen will be devastated when the oil hits the shrimp or the fish or the oysters that they go out to catch. >> reporter: yeah, you know, ali, you were mentioning what is at stake, and it's actually right behind me, the fishermen, the residents of this island of dauphin, right behind me, we're talking about only an oil rig that is just about a mile offshore here. we've got some very nice areas.
but all of that area produces seafood, such as shrimp and oysters and so what we did last night is we took a look at the products and went to mobile, alabama, to an oyster house who has been there for, oh, 70-plus years. founded by a couple in the 1930s, and we wanted to get a sense of how important it was for folks and how the lack of oysters might affect their business. and the business owner was saying, you know, they're not sure. they're just taking it day by day. they're talking to their suppliers, hoping the suppliers in this area, mississippi, alabama, and throughout the entire gulf coast, continue to supply them product, but they may have to look outside the area, you know, and they get the majority of all of their oysters from this part of the country. so, when you talk about local businesses in this space, they're sort of questioning whether they need to do something now or should just wait and see. >> but on dauphin island where you are, we're not fully recovered from the effects of hurricane katrina there. >> reporter: no, they're not
recovered. and, in fact, when we take a look at what the residents are thinking or the local fishermen, they still can enjoy, for what the short amount of time is since hurricane katrina, since they have recovered, we took a drive out on to the streets and you see newly built buildings, that's the indicator you're talking about there, ali. so what we did is we spoke to one fisherman, and his name is mike wallace, he comes down here each and every day. he throws out his pole. he brings out his cooler, and what he's concerned about, though, is the next couple of days what can change. this is what he told me -- what does fishing mean to you? >> it means a lot. i've been doing it for a lot of years. my grandparents taught me to fish and stuff like that, and this is what i do, you know, i love to do it, you know, and to take this from me is just like, you know, not having anything. because this is all i do. is fish. >> reporter: and that is where mike wallace was fishing all this morning. right there, as you see there,
on that corner. he caught 80 to 100 fish. he said each and every day. in fact, when i was talking to him, ali, he actually caught one in the ten minutes i was there, and right over his shoulder is what could be one of the older riffings in the coast of alabama, and i would say mike wallace is one of the most prolific fishermen that are also here in this area. so, you get a sense of what fishing means to the people that come down to this area. that is what is at risk. >> is that a drilling platform off the coast that we're looking at? >> reporter: you're now looking off the west side of this coast of dauphin island, and that rig -- has been called one of the oldest, if not the first, off the coast of alabama, and this is a very popular place for folks to come on down and walk on the boardwalk here, ali, as well as to go fishing. we've seen maybe 10 or 20 fishermen come through. and, you know, they're talking about will i be able to take my son out fishing? i've been taught by my grandparents, my by parents as you just heard from mike wallace and that's sort of the discussion that's happening out here.
>> you know, just by the way, those shots and where you are, you can see the rough surf that chad was talking about, the booms that have been put out there to contain the oil, it will affect them and make it tougher because of the rough surf that's why they can't continue the fires to burn off the oil. these waves, that's going to complicate things a little bit. >> reporter: well, you know, ali, but they're still moving ahead. there's another boom deployment right here to the east of where i'm standing, and we were down there taking a look at the booms, they're still deploying them. there's group of 20. the environmental groups bring out big trucks to make sure they continue to deploy the booms and get ready. so, you still see activity here and the fishermen themselves i was talking to two that were launching the boat right over here, and they're saying, you know, it's choppy out here, you can see the water, as you were mentioning, ali, even though it's choppy, i want to get out there, because i know what may change in the short future. >> yeah. all right, richard, we'll keep chinging ing in checking in with you. richard lui, dauphin island,
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made it her life's mission to stop this exploitation. >> in the west, america, europe, if someone comes and says, i want to make your child a prostitute, they would give them a slap or shoot them. but these families, they are tricked all the time. girls are brought from the villages by people who can lure them and tell them that they're getting a nice job. the border between india and nepal is the conduit. once they are here, there is no way to escape. it is my strong hope to stop every nepali girl from being trafficked. when you go to the border at this point, we are intercepting four girls to five girls every day. after the rescues, the girl is
taken to my foundation. we started this. we take ever. oh, good girl. the girls that come back from brothels, they are totally psychologically broken. we give them whatever work they want to do. whatever training they want to do. one day we will stop this. the trafficking will end. there are always a small part. but today i'm something new in my life. they are my strength. >> a great story. the woman called nepal's mother teresa has rescued and help rehabilitate, get this, more than 12,000 girls. to nominate someone you think is changing the whorl, go to cnn.com/heroes. all right, chad is checking the wind speed and the waves off the gulf coast as that oil slick nears the shore. stick around. we'll give you the latest update and his forecast for the area when we get back.
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situation off the gulf coast as the oil from the sunken oil rig nears the shore. what are we looking at? >> wind is still coming in from the southeast. that is still blowing the waves and the wind and the water and the oil all the way up into the mississippi delta, into the mississippi river delta, that little point that sticks out. see that yellow box that we've made? kind of the irregular box? that's where the sheen is. inside that sheen is the thick oil where it looks white, although it's really on the real image it actually looks brown and kind of reddish-brown, whatever, this is how it was highlighted on this. and the sheen there, just the different colors there, making its way onto shore. people say why don't we have better pictures of this oil? because nobody lives there. because only the bird population and the fish population live there. the only way to get pictures is in a boat and that's where our brian todd is right now, so we'll get pictures later today, proving all of this. this is just going to be a difficult story to talk about. one more thing, there's going to be severe weather in the plains all the way west of chicago with the big red box, that's a
tornado watch box which means some storms may contain tornadoes. none yet due. if anything does contain a tornado, that would be a warning. this is only a watch. people get confused, including my mom, all the time, so i like to keep those straight, ali? >> you know, if we all do it so that our parents will understand what we're talking about, we'd probably be a lot clearer on tv. >> that's what i do all the time. >> and get rid of the inside speak. you're keeping an eye on it, thank you, chad. ten wildlife sanctuaries are in the likely path of the oil from the sunken gulf. moments from now we expect to hear the status of the spill and the efforts to contain it from senior state and federal officials in louisiana. their news conference is coming up live after the break. pppppppp
let me give you a check of the top stories we're following right now other than the oil spill. china's kindergartens and preschools are under increased security after three violent attacks on schoolchildren. just today a farmer wounded five students with a hammer before burning himself to death. state media are labeling these copycat attacks after a former doctor murdered eight children in a school in eastern china. he was executed on wednesday. weekend protests are scheduled in at least 20 state's as backlash broadens over arizona's tough new immigration law. but governor jan brewer is defending the measure saying it will help keep criminals out of the country. a new gallup poll said 3 in 10 americans oppose the bill.
rescue crews have reportedly cleaned the first bird found coated with oil in the gulf of mexico. this comes as president obama says no new leases for offshore drilling lj approved unless the rigs have new safeguards. the goal is to stop a repeat of the explosion that unleashed the massive oil spill now approaching the gulf coast. think about this, ten wildlife sanctuaries are in the likely path of the oil from the sunken gulf rig. moments from now we expect to hear the status of the spill and the efforts to contain it from senior federal officials in louisiana. we're expecting to hear from epa administrator, lisa jackson, homeland security secretary, janet napolitano, interior secretary, ken salazar, and louisiana governor, bobby jindal. their live news conference after this break.
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okay. we're going to have an updated status on the spill and the efforts to contain it from senior state and federal officials in louisiana. their news conference is coming up. we'll take you to that as soon as it happens. we'll get the latest on what's going on with the national guard and the cleanup, who's in charge, who's paying for it and how far is it from shore. but first we want to check in with chad who has got some updates on wind speed and waves and the conditions out there. >> yeah, just because people want to know where this is going to be and when. we'll give you an idea of how the winds are going to change, because right now they're coming in from the southeast. later on tonight they'll go in from the south and then eventually from the southwest. so, the way they're coming in today, blowing into the southern bayou. here's new orleans, 70 miles
away, not going to hid new orleans. but back here in the bays and the bayous down here of the mississippi delta, where the mississippi river dumps into the gulf of mexico. then tom up in here into st. ber marred parish and bay st. louis and as the wind shifts due south to mobile, the biggest place that could be hit with the biggest amount of damage per square foot, it would be dauphin island, right out there, sticks you right there in the middle. let's get you to dauphin island, because we had our guy out there, dauphin island, right there. so, here's a big strip of sand all the way down here. houses here. houses have been hit pretty hard by katrina and a couple other ones including ivan. and also dauphin island, you move farther and take the ferry over here and you get jimmy buffet's place and you get to pascagoula and pensacola and the pristine white beaches and here's orange beach right here. could you imagine what orange beach would look like with a bunch of oil dropped on it? but that said, by tuesday, the wind is shifting offshore and
may push the oil slick back into the middle of the gulf of mexico which is good, because the longer it sits there and floats and the more it evaporates and the more it turns into a tar ball rather than a big glob of mayonnaise that's hard to clean up. it's light, sweet crude, this is not heavy sour. heavy sour and it's black and it's gross and it stinks and it's ugly, and that's what crashed in the "exxon valdez." that came out and they couldn't light it on fire. it was very toxic. >> very sulfurous, it's the sour part. >> correct. >> it's heavy. it's harder to get off of everything. >> right. and the light sweet will actually wash off the shore a little bit better. but it's obviously not water soluble, but it's better and it's easier to clean up and easier to clean up the birds. i remember just sickening pictures of the "exxon valdez" when the birds were there and all covered in black and they are trying to clean them and wipe them off. it won't be black oil like that. it may be brown, but it won't appear to be as hard to get off these animals and birds but, you know, anybody -- we're going to
lose -- we're going to lose millions and millions of animals. >> and the folks from zoo atlanta were saying, part of it is just the stress that you go and try and clean a bird that's not used to, you know, you capture it and try and clean it and who knows what they ingested, there's going to be a lot of damage. thanks, chad, we'll keep checking in with you. in a moment we'll get with brian todd he just got off a helicopter and went over to venice, alabama, to get a look at the oil slick and to a wildlife refuge to see how much danger there is. hey, i'm don shula, and i lost 32 pounds on nutrisystem. and i'm mary anne shula, and i've lost 23 pounds on nutrisystem. nutrisystem silver for 2010, the weight-loss program designed for older americans. now you can lose weight and feel great again! let's face it, the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight. not anymore, honey. it's easy with nutrisystem. for a limited time, get our best tv offer:
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as the backlash broadens against arizona's tough new immigration law allowing police to demand proof of residency. but arizona governor jan brewer is defending the measure. she says it will help keep criminals out of the country. 4 in 10 americans support the bill and 3 in 10 oppose it. the fbi has reportedly launched a criminal investigation in to massey energy, the owner of a-of-mine, where an explosion killed 29 miners earlier this month. the federal law enforcement official tells the associated press that the feds are looking for evidence of criminal negligent. authorities have interviewed nearly two dozen current and former massey employees. all right, brian todd is in venice, louisiana, he has just deplaned from a helicopter. where he got a firsthand look at that oil spill. brian, tell us what you saw. >> reporter: ali, we flew over some wildlife refuges in this area, along the barrier coast of louisiana, around the southern tip. and then up the coast a little bit. we saw a lot of boom along the
coastline, but a lot of it was breached, too, because the tide is coming in, a lot of whitecaps are kind of washing over the booms and sometimes breaking them apart. so, a lot of the coastline is still exposed. we flew over the breton island wildlife refuge where there are thousands of pelicans and seagulls nesting and gathering there. no signs of oil there yet, but we're told that it's creeping closer. we did see in other areas slivers of oil kind of coming into inlets right by land, so the oil is starting to breach this area, ali. >> did you see any activity out there? we are trying -- and we're waiting for this briefing from just north of new orleans in a few moments. bobby jindal, interior secretary ken calendar, salazar, the homeland security secretary, janet napolitano, and the epa director, who are going to tell us what's happening and what's been deployed. did you see evidence of people or efforts being deployed to contain this oil spill? >> reporter: we see it all over this area in plaquemines parish. matter, part of our story today is just how the parish leaders are mobilizing fishermen to get
out there and lay some of the boom. we have seen it offshore as well, there are frantic efforts all along this coastline, local officials employing contractors, fir fishermen, anybody they can get their hands on and training them quickly on cleanup efforts and getting them on their boats. it's a frantic effort but some of the leaders are frustrated they didn't get the go-ahead to do it earlier, that the feds were maybe not here a little earlier. we've seen the debate all throughout the last couple of days so that's playing in to this as well, but there's a frantic effort to get teams of fishermen and others just all along this coastline essentially to lay boom. >> the surf i was talking to richard lui, who is off the coast of alabama, a little earlier. chad's been talking about this. the surf looks a little rough. that complicates the laying of the boom. it complicates the fact that waves can push the oil over the boom. it means they can't light the oil slicks on fire, the ones that are thicker and more contained. is it looking like it's getting rougher? >> reporter: it is clearly getting rougher. we see and even hear inland a
little bit. we saw it clearly offshore where there were whitecaps all over the place. the tide is getting much rougher. it's coming in. it's pushing a lot of the boom right up on shore. it's breaching some of it. it's washing over it, sew that will be a huge factor here. and the wind is blowing from the southeast toward the northwest, again, not good news for the people trying to contain this. not good news for those trying to put more and more boom along the coastline, because that complicates it, getting the tide closer in and blowing the oil right toward the coastline and that hasn't changed the last couple days. >> all right, brian, we'll keep in touch with you on the developments. we're following it very closely on cnn. brian todd in venice, louisiana. ed henry, it's a little early, but usually the time every day we talk to our senior white house don't, ed henry, why is in an elevator? wait a second, that's cnn in washington. >> reporter: it's a new bureau. you were here because of the goldman hearing. >> the only reason i recognize is because of the thing you're
looking at. >> reporter: "the situation room" is this way. we're going to crash wolf's office in a minute. i think they're doing a rundown meeting right now, so we don't want to go in there right now. we're in "the situation room." it's a total redo. >> it's like a spaceship in there. >> reporter: it's like "star trek." david borman, our producer, we're all digital now. you have the frosting on the windows basically throughout the entire office, watch your back there, ken. i want to show our viewers where you were just a couple days ago, ali, because you were hanging at the desk with our deputy bureau chief and i don't know what your apartment looks like, but she's neat and keep things clean and apparently the other day you were sitting at this desk. am i right? >> correct. that's exactly where i was sit. >> reporter: there's used creamers here and there are some potato chips and i heard you were at mcdonald's. >> the neighborhood it was all that was open really late. >> reporter: there's a stapler here. do you happen to know where it is? >> i need to -- i didn't take the stapler. i didn't touch it. >> reporter: well, you know, this weekend is big because it's
the white house correspondents' dinner. >> you're right. >> reporter: around here everyone calls it the nerd prom, we like to have the party, nobody quite understands it around the country sometimes but the president's trying to have some fun with it. we put together a fun tape of some previous dinners. take a look. >> jay leno's here. now, no matter how mean he is to me, i just love this guy. because together, together, we give hope to gray-haired chunky baby boomers everywhere. >> i am married to the president of the united states. and here's our typical evening. 9:00, mr. excitement here, is sound asleep. and i'm watching "desperate housewives."
ladies and gentlemen, i am a desperate housewife. >> as you know, i always look forward to these dinners. it's just a bunch of media types. hollywood liberals, democrats like joe biden. how come i can't have dinner with the 36% of the people who like me? >> during the second 100 days we will design, build, and open a library dedicated to my first 100 days. >> you guys have been very favorable towards the president. you know, it's funny to me that they've never caught you smoking, but they somehow always catch you with your shirt off. >> reporter: now somebody who has been there for all the dinners will be there saturday night, wolf blitzer from "the situation room." wolf, what's your favorite white house correspondents' dinner memory? >> i've been going for 20 years, maybe more. they sort of blur over the
years. you know that? >> reporter: yeah, i do know that. >> i'm sure one dinner starts falling into another dinner. i laugh all the time at all these jokes, you know, because i'm just a sucker when it comes to the comedians. was pretty good in his day when he was there. george w. bush, as you know -- >> reporter: we just played some of it. >> -- he's very funny. i always enjoyed him doing that kind of stuff. >> reporter: i want to check out one thing you heard from one of your staff members. a couple years ago it was explained to you who donna versace was. >> that's not true. i know who she is. >> reporter: and ben roethlisberger was your guest a few years ago. >> a lovely guy. >> reporter: did you go out partying afterward? >> no, i did meet him earlier and we -- >> reporter: i met him. he's a big guy. >> a big quarterback. >> reporter: he was tame that night. >> it was nice, he was very well behaved and it was very good.
>> reporter: wolf will be there at the nerd prom. >> and a big actress will be at my table. >> reporter: home's got a big actress. >> ashley judd. >> yeah, i know ashley judd. i know her like you do. wolf is another tie guy like me. >> reporter: it's a nice tie. his wife picks them out. >> that's right. and she's very, very skilled about that. >> i know versace. >> reporter: wolf's mad about it. i'll have to talk to the source. >> wolf gave me a nice tour of the "sit room" place. >> reporter: what will you be wearing? >> i'm wearing a black tie tuxedo. armani. >> reporter: armani, you heard it here first. >> you guys are unbelievable. the rest of us will watch it, ed, on tv. power-play please, watch it on cnn. don lemon will have special coverage. take a look at it. kate bolduan on the red carpet.
wolf will be there. >> i'll be there. >> you have a fantastic time. i'll be thinking of you and i hope you take a moment to think of me. i know why they all blur together, everything will be blurry after a couple hours. >> reporter: thank you to wolf to crash his office. >> it's always nice to be in "the situation room." we were just in "the situation room" for a moment. we are continuing our coverage of a major story. there are ten wildlife sanctuaries in the likely path of the oil from the sunken rig in the gulf of mexico. moments from how we expect to hear the status and the efforts to contain it. we'll go to louisiana for a press conference. you can see it in the bottom right of your screen. louisiana governor, bobby jindal, will be there. home land security, janet napolitano, will be there, and interior secretary, ken salazar, will be there, and epa administrator, lisa jackson, will be there. we will hear what the administration and government plans to do. ng at walmart. we've been busy getting our stores ready
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we're about to head to robert, louisiana, north of new orleans for a news conference with state and fed prall officials in charge of the fight to hold back an oil slick in the gulf of mexico. we expect to hear from governor, bobby jindal, leems sa jacks within, janet napolitano, interior secretary, ken salazar, and several others. while we're watching it get set up, i want to talk to a guy for better or worse will always be associated with the words louisiana and disaster. he's our cnn contributor and retired army lieutenant general russell hod honore, he joins me phone. >> good afternoon, ali. >> we sound like we're getting ready, the state of louisiana, is getting ready to deploy national guard. they've asked for assistance from the department of defense. there are some planes that are
heading over there to spread dispersent, tell me at this point what authorities can do now that they know that we're on the brink of an environmental disaster. >> well, what they can do under the national significance, which is the level of response that the president has announced, is deploy all means possible to help respond. hopefully as a result of this news conference, the president's cabinet will go back and tell him, he needs to declare this a national disaster, immediately. because we need to empower the states and all agencies in the government to respond to what will in years one of the biggest natural disasters on the coast of the united states in some of the most fragile waters and terrain inside the united states. we need this declared now, a federal disaster with a proclamation from the president now, and don't wait. >> general honore, what does that mean? what difference would it make if the president did that? >> it empowers the governor to
use -- request all funds from the stafford act. it also empowers the governor to request federal assistance, federal troops, federal assets, with the known fact that the state will be reimbursed in the event those resources are used. it also empowers the government -- governors to reach in to the private sector to get contractors and hire people to get the work that will be done that's needed to recover those very fragile areas. over. >> russel, what's changed since you when you were helping out in the -- after katrina where you had walked in after there had been a delayed response, some communication problems? are we in a better place right now? do you think everybody's trying to coordinate this better than we were in katrina? >> absolutely. the northern command has deployed a forward headquarters in roberts, led by brigadier
general bosilica. you might remember him from katrina, he's a katrina veteran. he's in charge of that command post, and they are setting up next to general landry, and they will lead that, and they are pushing national guard troops there and the united states 1st air force which responded to katrina, is controlling the airplanes that will do the spraying. and naval fleet forces command are providing the forces. it's a lot tighter, well-organized response. the question now is, when we will get that declaration so the governors are empowered to do what they can to protect their shoreline. >> general honore, stay right there. we're going to take a break. we'll be right back with you to continue the discussion on what the government needs to do to fix the situation.
all right. he's a cnn contributor, he's a retired army lieutenant general, russel honore, the general joins me, again, by phone from lake charles. you will remember him, he is synonymous with katrina and the federal effort to try and deal with the disaster there. general honore, it is difficult to compare this situation with that, but from a response perspective, it does need to be treated as a disaster or a catastrophe, because that allows us to do what we need to do now and not be dealing with cleanup later. >> that is correct. you know the government in washington, generally the theme from within the government, we've got bp will pay for the recovery. that is okay. that is the proclamation, but the fact right now, the federal government's going to need to respond to that and recover the money later from bp.
if we start worrying about that, we will not get the assets we need to help the people along the coastline of louisiana and mississippi. you help prevent and respond to that oil that might reach shore, and then how we going to mitigate the effects of all those people who rely on the fishing industry for their livelihoods and get them involved in the cleanup as well as to offset the income and the tremendous loss of wildlife that's going to be lost as a result of this. so, we need everything we've got thrown at this to try and minimize the damage, the effect on animals and -- and people in that fragile community. >> general honore, one of the things we like about you is that you represent what we think of when we think we need the military. you go in. you assess the situation. and then you deploy what's necessary. your assessment, i know it's from afar, i know you haven't been directly involved in this, but your assessment, can we contain this, or is it going to be really bad?
>> it's the worst kind of disaster, because it's manmade. there's nothing like it. we haven't seen anything. the source of the oil is way under water. i think we'll figure it out. it's going to take time. but when we get the united states military and all those great engineers we have in the navy working along with the coast guard and the company themselves who are responsible for this disaster -- the thing that bothers me now, ali, is how many more of those rigs that set out along our coast that the shutoff valve doesn't work? >> yeah. >> all those need to be checked to prevent this from happening again. but i'm sure they'll figure it out. the military is good at figuring out this stuff, along with the coast guard. it's going to take time, but we would expect a lot worse situation before it gets better, and long-term damage that goes way beyond anything that we've seen from a hurricane. >> all right, retired lieutenant general russel honore, olz goal good to have you on. it makes us feel safer that there are folks like to take
charge of the situation. we will keep depending on you to make sense of it over the course of the next few days. thanks for being with us, general. >> god bless the people. all right, we've talked and heard a lot about oil this hour, boy, i've been on the computer watching what you have to say about it. i want to talk to you on a more personal level with you. [ beeping ] ♪ my country ♪ 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land ♪ of liberty ♪ of thee i sing [ laughs ] ♪ oh, land
toward the gulf coast from the oil rig that sunk last week. it's hard to know how much oil is in the gulf and how much will reach shore. we know that fish and birds and sea mammals and wetlands are in danger, and some people are warning of an ecological and environmental disaster that could rival the "exxon valdez." the conversation on my facebook page has been passionate. most of you concerned about the pollution and the effect on the environment. some of you questioning the safety of offshore drilling. many of you calling for a greater, faster push to alternatives. the obama administration has already called a temporary halt for plans to expand offshore drilling, and many of you are downright furious at the oil companies. someone called for a boycott of bp, the company leasing the oil rig that started all of this. i think it's time to consider that oil companies don't drill oil for fun. the department of interior doesn't lease out offshore drilling space because it likes the sight of thousands of oil rigs in the gulf of mexico. all of this happens because the human race has an unquenchable thirst for oil. if this accident makes you take
a stand on drilling. if the sight of birds covered in oil makes you crave a greener way to create energy and the thought of 11 men killed by the explosion that precipitated this makes you want a safer way to run our cars and trucks and factories, then some good will have come of this, but don't kid yourself in to thinking that the world is somehow going to be a better place before we start finding real alternatives for crude oil. keep your comments and ideas coming. you know how i feel about alternative energy and i'll keep doing the same, but before any of us point fingers at oil companies or pro-drilling advocates, take a good hard look at your behavior. how much oil do you use? what kind of car do you drive? if you don't want oil spills or damaged wildlife, take a look in the mirror and make changes. now "rick's list." >> ali, they changed the law in arizona over one of the questions we've been asking over the last week. i'll tell you what it is. and we're expecting a news conference any moment now, janet napolitano will be there, bobby jindal will be there, the siio